Divided Vote Foreshadows Obama Challenge On Syria

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Associated Press Release

By: DONNA CASSATA

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Senate panel's deep divide over giving President Barack Obama the authority to use U.S. military force against Syria underscores the commander in chief's challenge in persuading skeptical lawmakers and wary allies to back greater intervention in an intractable civil war.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted narrowly to OK limited military force Wednesday, and the administration was pressing ahead with its full-scale sales effort Thursday with another round of closed-door meetings for lawmakers to share intelligence about a chemical weapons strike near Damascus.

On another continent, Obama was certain to face questions about Syria from world leaders at an economic summit in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Obama has called for military action against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime, which the administration blames for the Aug. 21 attack that killed hundreds.


Associated Press Release

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Senate panel has voted to give President Barack Obama the authority to use military force against Syria in response to a deadly chemical weapons attack.

The vote Wednesday was 10-7, with one senator voting present. The full Senate is expected to vote on the measure next week.

The resolution would permit Obama to order a limited military mission against Syria, as long as it doesn't exceed 90 days and involves no American troops on the ground for combat operations.

The Democratic chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Bob Menendez, and the panel's top Republican, Sen. Bob Corker, crafted the resolution.

The vote marked the first time lawmakers have voted to authorize military action since the October 2002 votes giving President George W. Bush the authority to invade Iraq.


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